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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”

HIV/AIDS: Risks

We offer a monthly newsletter dealing with the various issues surrounding infectious diseases.  To find out more click HERE.

   

Main topics can be found within the left column; sub-topics and/or research reports can be found near the bottom of this page.  Thank you

"Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) call for discrimination. Containing the spread of an STD by focusing on promiscuous individuals, who are most likely to pass it on, should be cheaper and more effective than large-scale random campaigns, according to two new mathematical analyses. Why? Because the web of human sexual contacts is scale-free - there is no typical number of sexual partners. Many people have few partners; a few have many. And diseases propagate differently through scale-free networks than through networks in which contacts between individuals are purely random.

An epidemic spreads through a random network only when the disease is transmitted faster than a certain threshold value. A disease can be eliminated from a randomly connected population by keeping the transmission rate below this threshold, for example by immunization.

But there is no such threshold in scale-free networks, so even a very slow-spreading disease can be sustained at a low incidence throughout the population4. And calculations now show that uniform, random immunization would fail to eradicate the disease.

The upside to scale-free networks is that they are characterized by a scattering of very highly connected nodes- 'hubs' that hold the web together. The hubs in this case are individuals who have many sexual contacts.

So immunizing promiscuous individuals could effectively curtail transmission of an STD at relatively little cost. In other words, by severing the hubs' connections, the web rapidly falls apart, say Romualdo Pastor-Satorras of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, and Alessandro Vespignani of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy. " Identifying high-risk carriers of infectious diseases is worth the effort.

However, HIV/AIDS is not spread through sexual contact only, there are many other risks sources that are available-from poor medical care to sharing of razors.

"Several hemophiliacs have sued health care giant Bayer Corp. and other companies, claiming they knowingly sold HIV- and hepatitis C-contaminated blood products. The suit, filed in a San Francisco federal court, seeks class action status on behalf of thousands of foreign hemophiliacs. The plaintiffs allege the companies conspired to sell blood- clotting products that were produced using blood from high-risk, sick donors and distributed them abroad in 1984 and 1985 - despite stopping US sales because of the known risk of HIV and hepatitis transmission. Monday's suit was filed on behalf of foreigners who received the drug, called Factor VIII concentrate, according to Robert Nelson of Lieff Cabraser Heimann and Bernstein, which represents the plaintiffs." Lawsuit Alleges Companies Sold Contaminated Blood Overseas

ADDITIONAL ARTICLES:

Document Name & Link to Document Description File Size /Type
A Spreadsheet Model to Estimate the Effect of different infant Feeding Strategies on Mother-to-child transmission of HIV and on overall infant Mortality The risk of mother to child transmission of HIV during breastfeeding is about 1 in 7. However, under conditions of poverty and poor hygiene, there are few alternatives 126 kb pdf
Acute HIV-1 Infection An accurate early diagnosis of acute HIV-1 infection is important, as patients may benefit from therapy at this early stage of infection (see below), and infection of sexual partners can be prevented.  
Adolescents through the Lifecourse: Variation in Cultures of Sexuality and Risk in Rural South Africa Within the context of South Africa’s severe HIV epidemic, young people face a disproportionate risk.  With more than 10% of those aged 15-24 infected, the epidemic impacts heavily on this age group.  Factors associated with heightened sexual risk in young people include women having an older partner, multiple partnerships, especially for men, and inconsistent condom use. Pdf 194 kb
Blood Safety Transcripts

And this is what we have tried to do with the hepatitis C lookback. This is the same approach we've taken to the other challenges, I think, to blood safety and availability that we've encountered, and we hope to continue to do so.

But I do want to mention the latest effort in this regard because we have had discussions about sending a letter from the Surgeon General to every household in America about hepatitis C because of the magnitude of this silent epidemic affecting four million people. And the struggle, of course, has been that there's only one model for doing that, I guess, in the past and that was when Surgeon General C. Everett Koop sent a letter about the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

There have been some major changes since that time. At that time the Surgeon General's office had what we call franking privileges, and there was no problem in sending mail to all of the families in America
 
CDC’s Investigation of HIV Transmissions by a Dentists Report on the possible transmission of HIV/AIDS by dentistry 5,150 kb pdf
Children, HIV/AIDS and Communication in South Africa To identify key issues related to children and HIV/AIDS, including discrimination, grief, knowledge, attitudes and practices, to determine what programs have been implemented, both media and non-media, with regard to children and HIV/AIDS, to provide a comprehensive bibliography of literature in the area, on the basis of findings from the literature review conduct supplementary interviews with key stakeholders, to develop a review of findings 147 kb pdf
College Students Engage in 'Risky Business,' Exposing Themselves to the Dangers of Sexually Transmitted Diseases College students across the country are engaging in activities that may put them at risk for contracting serious infectious diseases, according to a national survey released today by the Society for Adolescent Medicine  
Condom is mainstay of fight The condom has been the mainstay of the fight against HIV/AIDS and widespread distribution of free condoms by local family planning clinics has succeeded in a massive reduction in the spread of the virus.  
Drug-related AIDS & Hepatitis C Among African Americans and Latinos We have watched people die from this diseases; now they must learn how to live with HIV/AIDS.  But why can’t we help prevent this disease by providing clean needles? Pdf 148 kb
 

We offer a monthly newsletter dealing with the various issues surrounding infectious diseases.  To find out more click HERE.

Epidemiology and detection of HIV-1 among pregnant women in the United Kingdom: results from national surveillance 1988-96

To describe the epidemiology of HIV-1 infection in pregnant women in the United Kingdom. Design: Serial unlinked serosurveillance for HIV-1 in neonatal specimens and surveillance through registers of diagnosed maternal and paediatric infections from reporting by obstetricians, paediatricians, and microbiologists.

 

Fact Sheets: HIV in Specific Populations Many American adolescents are engaging in behaviors that may put them at risk of acquiring HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases. In periodic studies of high school students, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consistently found the following:  
Factors Associated to the Occurrence of the First Intercourse in Adolescents Power Point Presentation-Today’s adolescent are affected by a disproportionately high prevalence of unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS, and other serious problems that affect their reproductive health.  
Growing Absolutely Fantastic Youth: A Review of the Research on “Best Practices” Adolescence is a time of great opportunity for healthy development.  It is a time of curiosity; social, intellectual, and physical development; increasing independence; and establishing behavior patterns for a lifetime.  But adolescence is also a time of risk.  It is a time of decreased adult supervision and involvement, increased experimentation, and increased risk-taking.   89 kb pdf
Gay and Lesbian Issues and HIV/AIDS: Final Report Historically, gay men and lesbians have suffered persistent patterns of discrimination and persecution (A History of Discrimination). It then shows how the HIV/AIDS epidemic has been accompanied by a second epidemic, an epidemic of stigma and discrimination against those living with or affected by HIV/AIDS, and how the appearance of HIV/AIDS has consolidated prejudices about homosexuality and intensified and extended discrimination against gay men, usually based on assumptions like "All gay men have AIDS and are infectious" or "Gay men are to blame for AIDS."  

HIV Disclosure by Men Who have Sex with Men to Immediate Family over Time

 

Previous researchers have comprehensively documented rates of HIV disclosure to family at discrete time periods yet none have taken a dynamic approach to this phenomenon. The purpose of this study was to address the trajectory of HIV serostatus disclosure to family members. Time to disclosure was analyzed from data provided by 135 HIV-positive men who have sex with men  
HIV Fears Prompt Recall of Product for Burn Victims Baxter International Inc. on Monday said it has recalled one lot of a product that hospitals use to treat burn victims and patients in shock after a test found a rare form of HIV in the plasma used to make the product.

 

HIV Infection in Parents of Youths with Behaviorally acquired HIV Clinical observation that many nonperinatally infected HIV-positive youths receiving care through the program mentioned HIV infection in a parent 56 kb pdf

HIV Prevention Among Vulnerable Populations

(Large file-Increase download time)

 

Three particular populations in most countries are highly vulnerable to HIV infection: sex workers, men who have sex with other men, and injecting drug users. All over the world, legal frameworks, social stigma, and discrimination have rendered these populations voiceless in the decision-making processes that affect their lives, including those related to HIV. On the other hand, in places where they have been encouraged, or have fought to participate actively in prevention programming, these vulnerable groups have been among the most efficient players in slowing or even stopping the epidemic. Pdf 5028 kb
HIV/AIDS through Unsafe Medical Care This posting contains excerpts of an article from the October issue of the Royal Society of Medicines' International Journal of STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) and AIDS. The excerpted article is more technical and longer than we usually repost. However, the conclusion of the authors is important, as it challenges conventional wisdom on the relative importance of different means of transmission of HIV/AIDS. It is preceded by a brief non-technical summary by Africa Action.  
HIV-Infected Parents and Their Children in the United States This study sought to determine the number, characteristics and living situations of children of HIV-infected adults 113 kb pdf
Homeless Women and Children's Access to Health Care: A Paradox Homeless women and children who reside in shelters experience many health-related problems. The aim of the qualitative study reported here was to (a) explore how shelter staffs manage health problems among their residents and assist them in accessing health services, and (b) identify clinical strategies for community health nurses working with this population.  
Homosexuality The deletion of homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association in 1980 marked a dramatic reversal of the judgment that homosexuality is a behavioral disorder. In the practice of medicine, especially psychiatry, it is important to distinguish between that which is abnormal and that which is not.  
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection rates and heroin trafficking: fearful symmetries There is mounting evidence that the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus is associated with heroin trafficking routes.  The relationship between the two is best illustrated by the routes leading from the two primary regions for the illicit opium poppy cultivation and heroin manufacture. Pdf 84 kb
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Transmission in Dentistry HIV transmission in the health-care setting is of concern. To assess the current position in dentistry, we have reviewed the evidence to November 1, 2005. Transmission is evidently rare in the industrialized nations and can be significantly reduced or prevented by the use of standard infection control measures, appropriate clinical and instrument-handling procedures, and the use of safety equipment and safety needles. We hope that breaches in standard infection control will become vanishingly small. When occupational exposure to HIV is suspected, the application of post-exposure protocols for investigating the incident and protecting those involved from possible HIV infection further reduces the likelihood of HIV disease, and also stress and anxiety. Pdf 442 kb
Identifying high-risk carriers of infectious diseases is worth the effort Because the web of human sexual contacts is scale-free - there is no typical number of sexual partners3. Many people have few partners; a few have many. And diseases propagate differently through scale-free networks than through networks in which contacts between individuals are purely random.  
It's Time for Accidental Needle-Sticks to Come Out of the Closet Accidental acupuncture needle-sticks can happen in any practice format. As part of a public health initiative to prevent the spread of disease, we need to bring needle-sticks "out of the closet," and create a forum for discussing precautions and procedures for dealing with accidental exposure.  Preventing needle-sticks is an issue for all health care workers, not only those who work with high-risk populations; the threat of transmitting infectious disease is shared by all medical personnel  
Lawsuit Alleges Companies Sold Contaminated Blood Overseas Several hemophiliacs have sued health care giant Bayer Corp.and other companies, claiming they knowingly sold HIV- and hepatitis C-contaminated blood products.  
LIVING WITH HAEMOPHILIA AND HIV This report has arisen from seven years' experience of initiating, organising, running, and participating in a mutual-support group for people with haemophilia and HIV – The Birchgrove Group. During this time the group extended its help to the partners and families of those with haemophilia and HIV. Recently the group is working with those who have lost sons, husbands, and partners.  
Los Angeles man who infected his ex-wife with HIV is ordered to pay her $12.5 million The six-year legal battle between the couple, identified in court documents as "Bridget B." and "John B.," thrust their sexual history into public record and brought them before the California Supreme Court, where justices in 2006 ruled that people could be held liable for failing to inform a new partner of previous risky sexual behavior.  
Lowering the Risk of HIV After Sex or Other Exposure Post-exposure prophylaxis -- or PEP for short -- has long been used to minimize the chance of HIV infection among healthcare workers exposed to the virus (primarily through accidental needlestick injuries). It is also generally available in the emergency room to sexual assault survivors.  
Mother-Adolescent Discussions About Condoms: Implications for Providers Who Serve Youth Parents who communicate effectively about sexuality and safer sex behaviors can influence their adolescents' risk-taking behavior. Health care providers, particularly physicians, can facilitate this communication by providing to parents information about the sexual behavior of adolescents, the risks that adolescents encounter, condom use, condom effectiveness, and how to discuss condoms.  
Multiple Sexual Partners Among U.S. Adolescents and Young Adults In all, 63% of female respondents and 64% of males were sexually experienced. Among those who had had sex during the three months before the survey, 15% and 35%, respectively, had had two or more partners during that period. At each age, the majority of sexually experienced respondents had had more than one lifetime partner; between ages 14 and 21, the proportion who had had six or more rose from 8% to 31% among females and from 14% to 45% among males. In logistic regression analyses, alcohol use, illicit drug use and young age at first coitus were associated with increased odds that females had had two or more partners in the previous three months, and being married lowered the odds; black or Hispanic race or ethnicity, alcohol use and young age at first coitus increased the odds for males, and being married reduced the odds. As the number of reported alcohol-related behaviors increased, the adjusted proportion of respondents who had recently had multiple partners rose from 8% to 48% among females and from 23% to 61% among men.  
Points the Way to a Novel Mechanism for HIV-1 Transmission Peripheral mucosal tissues, such as those lining the cervix and rectum, contain DCs that capture invading infectious microorganisms and intracellularly digest them for presentation with proteins of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) as MHC-peptide complexes on the DC plasma membrane  
Predictors of Mother-Adolescent Discussions About Condoms: Implications for Providers Who Serve Youth By univariate analysis, mother-adolescent communication about condoms was associated with greater knowledge about sexuality and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, perception of having enough information to discuss condoms, information from a health-related source, less conservative attitudes about adolescent sexuality, perception that the adolescent was at risk for human immunodeficiency virus, greater ability and comfort in discussing condoms, stronger belief that condoms prevent human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, and a more favorable endorsement of condoms. 150 kb pdf

Prevalence of Unsafe Sexual Behavior Among HIV-Infected Individuals

With unsafe sex not denied as the response, there was less evidence of associations with age and occasional partners and more evidence of associations with education and antiretroviral therapy

 

Prevention of Mother to Child transmission of HIV/AIDS  

Every communication initiative should be strategic and sustainable.  However, due to lack of adequate human and financial resources, and to other constrains, some communication initiatives, including the ones employed in the response to HIV/AIDS, are still too often developed without a proper strategic planning methodology

Pdf 27 kb

Rapid Progression of HIV Infection in Infancy Transmission of HIV from mother to child can occur in utero, during labor or after delivery via breast feeding. Data on the fate of babies born with HIV in India are scarce. We present details of 25 infants with perinatally acquired HIV infection (virologically confirmed) to highlight the observed high rate of morbidity and mortality within the first 18 months of life. Our findings of rapid disease progression among perinatally infected HIV positive children underline the importance of early diagnosis and treatment.  
Red Cross blood supply problems According to court documents, the Red Cross has repeatedly taken blood from donors with hepatitis and other diseases. In one of the worst cases, the
Salt Lake City Red Cross took blood from hundreds of admittedly high-risk donors who had answered "yes" to questions like: "Do you have AIDS?" or
"Have you ever tested positive for AIDS?"
 
Reframing Women's Risk-Social Inequalities and HIV As of December, 1995, 71,818 US women had developed AIDS-defining diagnoses. These women have been disproportionately poor, African-American, and Latina. Their neighborhoods have been burdened by poverty, racism, crack cocaine, heroin, and violence.  
Sexual Activity Literature review concerning sexual activity and our youth  
Sexual decision-making and negotiation in the midst of AIDS This report explores choices made by young men and women regarding sexual activity and the extent to which it is influenced by HIV/AIDS.  Communication between partners was poor, and young women appeared powerless to enforce their preferences in sexual situation.  AIDS was not a significant factor in any aspect of sexual decision-making. 80 kb pdff
Sexual relations among young people in developing countries: evidence from WHO case studies In every setting, sexual activity begins during adolescence among many young people.  Much of this activity is risky—contraceptive use is often erratic, and unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortions are observed in many settings.  Sexual relations may be forced.  There are wide gender-based differences in sexual conduct, and in the ability to negotiate sexual activity and contraceptive use.  Despite this, relatively few young people think they are at risk of disease or unwanted pregnancy.  Awareness of safe sex practices seems to be superficial, and misinformation regarding the risks and consequences of unsafe sex is wide-spread 356 kb pdf
Sexually Transmitted Diseases Field medical officers are likely to encounter sexually transmitted diseases—a diverse group of infections caused by bacterial, chlamydial, and viral pathogens—in an active—duty population of men and women.  Worldwide, STDs account for millions of patient visits to health clinics and serious perinatal complications, and expose sexual partners to the risk of infection with the human immunodeficiency virus. 264 kb pdf
Task Force Recommendations for Use--of Antiretroviral Drugs in Pregnant HIV-1--Infected Women for Maternal Health and Interventions To Reduce Perinatal HIV-1 Transmission in the United States These recommendations update the February 4, 2002, guidelines developed by the Public Health Service for the use of zidovudine (ZDV) to reduce the risk for perinatal human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) transmission. This report provides health-care providers with information for discussion with HIV-1--infected pregnant women to enable such women to make an informed decision regarding the use of antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy and use of elective cesarean delivery to reduce perinatal HIV-1 transmission.  
The Broader Issues in Mother to Child Transmission of HIV There is a paucity of research examining the health impact of short-course therapy on women. 49 kb pdf
The Difficulties of Women living with HIV/AIDS Illness is inherently stressful, especially those that are life threatening and associated with social stigma. HIV is both life threatening and often viewed as an illness associated with socially inappropriate or undesirable behaviors. Although the stresses associated with living with HIV are assumed to be great, the views of the affected individuals, specifically women, have not been assessed.  
The Economic Impact of the HIV Epidemic Thus one objective of this paper is to shift perceptions. It will achieve a great deal if it deepens understanding of the ways in which HIV changes development prospects of diverse countries. It is unfortunate that the social sciences have as yet done little to analyze the linkage between social and economic phenomena and HIV, especially in terms of those factors that are:  
The Impact of Relationship Violence, HIV, and Ethnicity on Adjustment in Women This study examined how relationship violence, HIV, and ethnicity, moderated by social support, social undermining, and relationship satisfaction, influence psychological distress and dysfunction. A community sample of 415 African American, European American, and Latina women  
The implications of Sex Tourism on Men’s Social, Psychological, and Physical Health Sex tourism is a growing social phenomenon engaged in by many western males.  While an increasing number of men are participating in adult travel, sex tourism remains a fairly obscure and unknown activity to the general public, academia, and helping professions. 124 kb pdf
The Truth About HIV/AIDS and Infection Control Practices in Dentistry While the risk of contracting HIV in the dental care setting is small, infection control practices are based not only on the risk of HIV exposure, but also on the risk of transmission of other important pathogens such as hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, tuberculoisi, cytomegalovirus. 218 kb pdf
Top 100 Observations Incompatible With The HIV-AIDS Construct All of the observations below can be substantiated by independent research. How long can the HIV=AIDS=Death dogma be maintained in the
face of so many scientific cracks?
 

Transmission of drug-resistant HIV

There have been many reports of the transmission of drug-resistant strains of HIV. While studies from the late 1990s suggested that less than 10% of new infections involve drug-resistant virus, recent studies suggest that many seroconverters are infected with a type of HIV that has reduced sensitivity to at least one anti-HIV drug.

 

Two rare cases of family HIV transmission between adults reported

Two similarly unusual but unconnected cases of HIV transmission within two Australian families are reported in the September 5th issue of AIDS, providing a sobering reminder that HIV can occasionally be acquired by surprising routes. These also appear to be the first reports of one adult family member infecting another that involve a source patient with unrecognised HIV infection.

 

Why HIV kills More Shy People

Personality influences the immune system's ability to fight off diseases such as AIDS, and now researchers have found why shy people are at greater risk.

 

Women's health at risk in Africa Women all through the continent suffers from lack of control over own sexuality. Between one and two million women in 28 African countries undergo the cruel practice of Female Genital Mutilation each year. Women are also subjected to stigma and discrimination in relation to AIDS. They are blamed for the spread of disease though the majority have been infected by only partner/husband.  

 

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